“COP10hagen”: UN Biodiversity conference is just about money

With 2 days left the quotations from news reports today about the goings-on at COP 10 Nagoya are interesting:

  1. Developing nations in Africa and elsewhere in the world have called for a system under which they could seek compensation over benefits derived from genetic resources that originated in developing nations during the age of exploration by former colonial rulers – Yomiuri Shimbun
  2. A Namibia-sponsored proposal to create a benefit-sharing fund was seen as a compromise, as the southern African country characterized the move as softening previous approaches on the issue. Such a fund would be created with a portion of the benefits derived from genetic resources worldwide to ensure fair benefit-sharing. The Namibian proposal is said to have the support of 53 African nations. – Yomiuri Shimbun
  3. International biodiversity negotiations taking place in Nagoya, Japan, have been given a much-needed boost, with the announcement of US$2 billion in funding over the next three years from Japan to help implement the outcomes of the discussions. Nature
  4. While ministers from the developed countries eagerly announced money their countries were contributing, the fact that most of it was a part of aid funds already committed, was not mentioned. The outstanding issue – known as Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) – is the extent to which profits will be shared between poor nations and pharmaceutical and cosmetics firms from rich countries who use developing societies’ traditional knowledge and medicinal plants. Sify
  5. Elsewhere in the EU, governments with shaky budgets – Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain – have been reluctant for the bloc to commit additional funds beyond the roughly €1bn a year that it has spent on biodiversity since 2002. The Guardian

The objectives of this conference are merely vague platitudes. Just as with the UN Climate change conferences it is money that is at stake. 5,000 people have gathered in Nagoya for this conference/ jamboree. But it is likely – hopefully – to be as fruitless as last year’s Copenhagen climate change talks.  Nature reports that “in the corridors, the nickname “COP-10-hagen” is brewing”.

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